Information for New Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the School of International Service! We are excited that you will be joining us in the upcoming semester. On this page, you will find some information to help you prepare before you arrive. Please feel free to contact SIS Graduate Advising if you have any questions.

New students for Spring 2020 may schedule an appointment with their advisor beginning November 11 and register for classes for spring beginning November 20. New students will also receive detailed registration information via email from our office beginning in early November.  

  1. Review the Advising Worksheet outlining your program requirements.  
  2. Review first semester course suggestions specific to your program and the registration instructions sent to you via email.
  3. Review the Schedule of Classes for upcoming course offerings.
  4. Plan your schedule and register via Eagle Service-Student Planning in your myAU Portal.

    New students will register for classes after continuing graduate students, so new students may find some courses have already filled. Therefore, we encourage students to register as soon as possible. Students are not required to meet with an advisor prior to registering.
  5. (Optional) Review registration FAQs.
  6. (Optional) Schedule an advising appointment

Spring 2020 Orientation

SIS will host a required Orientation for newly admitted graduate students for spring 2020 on Thursday, January 9.  

More information coming soon!

Spring 2020 Students

As you wait for spring classes to begin, check out the exciting opportunities you will have during your time here at SIS. Consider options such as studying abroad, choosing a practicum as a potential capstone option in your second year, and completing rigorous skills institutes throughout your program of study. 

First Semester Course Suggestions

Full-time graduate students usually take 9 credit hours per semester, typically three, 3-credit courses. SIS does not typically recommend that students register for more than 3 classes in any semester. Please note that international students holding F or J visas must register full-time (9 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters). All students with university merit awards (scholarships and assistantships) should refer to their admissions/award letter for specific registration requirements. In order to be eligible for U.S. federal student loans, students must be registered at least half-time (5 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters; 2 credit hours in the summer).

First-semester students in the Comparative and Regional Studies (CRS) program are encouraged to take:

  1. One regional concentration course (the list of approved regional courses for spring 2020 can be found here)
  2. One thematic concentration course (if thematic concentration is known; the overall list of thematic concentration courses can be found hereor one course on a second region
  3. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for CRS.

Students in Development Management (DM) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their areas of concentration and the Action Research Practicum in their final semester(s). DM students who begin in the fall semester are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-726 Professional Development Management (this course is mandatory for DM students entering in a spring semester)
  2. SIS-637 International Development
  3. One of the following:
    • SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development
    • An economics course (see below)
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Stats and Methods

*There are two required economics courses for DM students:

  1. ECON-603: Intro to Economic Theory, and
  2. SIS-731: Economic Development.

ECON-603 is waived for DM students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. All DM students are required to take SIS-731 Economic Development. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for DM.

First semester students in the Ethics, Peace and Human Rights (EPHR) program are encouraged to take:

  1. PHIL-631 Advanced Seminar in Bioethics or PHIL-685 Disability Law and Ethics (both are approved to fulfill PHIL-625 Modern Moral Problems requirement)
  2. Two of the following:
    • A "choose-one" course in Philosophy. For spring 2020 these are PHIL-696 Contemporary Africana Philosophy; RELG-670 Islam; RELG-675 Religion and Violence; RELG-686 Religions of China; RELG-686 Religion and Spirituality in the African Diaspora; or RELG-696 Asia in Story and Reality. 
    • An approved methodology course (Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for a full list of approved methods courses)
    • Another course in your concentration if you have a clear focus for your concentration. We recommend that you discuss registration decisions regarding your concentration with your academic advisor. You may want to consider SIS-619-004 Genocide and International Law taught by Prof. Jeff Bachman, the EPHR faculty chair. 

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for EPHR.

Students in Global Environmental Policy (GEP) are encouraged to focus on required core courses in their first semester. Full-time students are encouraged to take three of the following:

  1. An economics course – ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory. Students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam may substitute a higher-level economics course in place of ECON-603. All GEP students must take SIS-652 Environmental Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam
  2. A natural science course - Available options to satisfy the natural science requirement for Spring 2020 are ENVS-505 Energy; or ENVS-675 Environmental Toxicology. 
  3. A research methodology course - Students without a background in statistics are encouraged to take SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods as one of their methodology courses. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for a full list of approved methods courses
  4. A concentration course - if you have a clear focus for your concentration and there is a relevant course being offered in spring only. For example, you may want to consider LAW-618 International Environmental Law. Please contact your advisor if you wish to register for this course.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for GEP.

First semester students in the Global Governance, Politics, and Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. The foundations course associated with their chosen concentration: either SIS-708 Foundations of Global Security or SIS-709 Foundations of Global Governance
  2. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods or an economics course

    When selecting an economics course, please note that all GGPS students must complete SIS-616 International Economics. SIS-616: Int’l Economics requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603 Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-616 Int’l Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  3. An approved course in your chosen concentration

    Students can find the list of approved concentration courses here. (In order to access any form on this page, you will be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU email address and password. Please use username@american.edu not username@student.american.edu)

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the GGPS program.

First semester students in the International Affairs Policy and Analysis (IAPA) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-761: Research Design, Analysis, and Communication
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. A course in their intended competency track or a concentration course

Students can find the list of approved competency courses here. (In order to access any form on this page, you will be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU email address and password. Please use username@american.edu not username@student.american.edu.) Students interested in beginning their concentrations are encouraged to schedule a brief meeting with their advisor to discuss their interests. 

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for IAPA.

First semester students in the Intercultural and International Communication (IC) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-642 Intercultural Relations
  2. Two of the following:
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    • An economics course. When selecting an economics course, students may choose either ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory, or SIS-616 International Economics. (Please note that students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam to waive ECON-603 as a pre-requisite and register for SIS-616. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.)
    • A gateway or concentration course within the selected field of study. When choosing a concentration course, students should consult with your academic advisor.*

*Due to scheduling delays, some course sections have not yet been posted on the schedule in Eagle Service Student Planning, including several IC courses. Students should check the Eagle Service schedule of classes regularly for updates and consult with their academic advisor as necessary. 

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IC

Students in International Development (ID) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their areas of concentration and capstone requirements after completing the core. First semester students are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. One of the following:
    • SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development
    • An economics course (see below)
    • A course for the area of concentration or elective

These courses help lay the theoretical and methodological framework for the program.

There are two required economics courses:

  1. ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory* and
  2. SIS-731: Economic Development

*ECON-603 is waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for ID.

First semester students in the International Economics (IE) program are encouraged to take:

  1. ECON-605 Introduction to Mathematical Economics 
  2. ECON-623 Applied Econometrics I
  3. SIS-616 International Economics or SIS-666 International Financial Relations

Students should discuss whether they qualify for a waiver of SIS-616 with the director of the IE program, Prof. David Simpson.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IE program.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations (IER) program are encouraged to take:

  1. An economics course

    When selecting an economics course, please note that all IER students must complete SIS-616 International Economics. SIS-616 Int'l Economics requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603 Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-616 Int'l Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  2. One of the "choose two" IER-related courses for the Spring 2020 semester

    Students can find the list of approved "choose two" courses here. (In order to access any form on this page, you will be prompted to log in to a Microsoft page using your AU email address and password. Please use username@american.edu not username@student.american.edu.)
  3. One research and professional methods course

    Students with a background in statistics are encouraged to take ECON-623 Applied Econometrics I. Students with limited statistics experience should consider SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IER program.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations (IER) Certificate program are encouraged to discuss course selections with the certificate academic advisor, Mike Rosenberger.

First semester students in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-734 International Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar II*
  2. Two of the following:
    • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
    • An economics course. Students may choose SIS-619 Economics of Violence and Peace, ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory, or SIS-616 International Economics.(Please note that students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam to waive ECON-603 as a pre-requisite and register for SIS-616. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.)
    • A Gateway course associated with an IPCR concentration of interest. (Please note that the Gateway courses for the concentrations in International Negotiation and Culture, Identity & Peace are not offered in the spring semester.)
      • Reconciliation & Justice: SIS-613 Reconciliation & Justice*
      • Peacebuilding: SIS-735 Peacebuilding Theory & Organization*
    • For students that are certain of their core concentration focus, a course from the approved list associated with that concentration, which may be found on the back of the IPCR Advising Worksheet.

*Due to scheduling delays, some course selections have not yet been posted on the schedule in Eagle Service Student Planning, including a second section of SIS-734, both SIS-613 and SIS-735, and several IPCR concentration courses. Students should check the Eagle Service schedule of classes regularly for updates and consult with their academic advisor as necessary.

Students pursuing a dual-degree between IPCR and the Master of Arts in Teaching or the Master of Theological Studies should consult with their academic advisor when planning their course schedule.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IPCR.

1L JDMA students will not begin taking courses in SIS until their 2L year. 2L and 3L JDMA students should contact their academic advisor for registration suggestions.

Students beginning the Master of International Service Executive degree program (MIS) in the fall semester are strongly recommended to take:

  1. The core course, SIS-686-001 Proseminar: International Affairs (3 credits; offered only in spring).

    In addition, they may register for one or two of the following:
  2. An Economics course (Chosen from the approved economics courses on the MIS advising worksheet)

    OR

    A Professional Research Methodology course (Approved course list is available on the SIS Graduate Advising website.)
  3. A Concentration course (Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS advising worksheet.)

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS.

Students in the Master of International Service degree program following the International Studies Track for students from international partner institutions should register for three courses in their first semester:

  1. A methods course, if required (see admissions letter for more information) or an economics course, if required (see admissions letter for more information)
  2. Two - three concentration courses (depending on required courses listed above)

    Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS:IST advising worksheet.

    Depending upon the number of credits of Advanced Standing awarded upon admission and whether a student is required to take an economics and/or methods course, students take between 9 and 15 credit hours in the concentration

    *Skills institutes may only be taken toward the concentration if the student will take greater than 9 credits in their concentration.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS:IST.

NRSD is a fall admit only program. Students are not able to start during the spring semester.

Effective 8/1/19: The Social Enterprise Program is no longer accepting applicants. Explore our other program offerings

First-semester students in the United States Foreign Policy and National Security (USFP) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-682 Foreign Policy: Institutions and Processes or SIS-689 Foreign Policy: Theories of Decision Making
  2. SIS-653 Continuity and Change in USFP or a USFP "Choose Two" course (The approved USFP "Choose Two" courses for spring 2020 are: SIS-653 America, the Military, and the Politics of War; SIS-653 Introduction to American Intelligence; SIS-653 Resource Allocation and National Security: Follow the Money; SIS-653 Diplomatic Practice; and SIS-653 National Security in Cyberspace)
  3. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods or an economics course (see below)

    When selecting an economics course, please note that all USFP students must complete SIS-616 International Economics. Students without a background in economics are required to take ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616. Econ-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for USFP.